01/01/1990 - 09/13/2015

My Muttville foster dog, Little Dante, aka Edmundantes crossed the rainbow bridge on Sunday, wearing his rainbow stripe sweater. This little old dog didn’t have a mean bone in his body, never growled at or even tried to bite me in the 4 ½ years that we spent together.
I never signed any adoption papers, I just kept fostering Dante – one year turned into two and the seasons kept moving forward. He was quite healthy for two years and then had a couple of seizures. The last one left his hind legs weak and he had difficulty standing by himself. I would crouch behind him, holding him up to help him eat and to eliminate. Six months ago, our building elevator stopped working and I carried little Dante up and down 5 flights of stairs 3 or 4 times a day. A couple of weeks ago, he seemed to be getting lighter and more bony, though he still ate regular meals. Dante loved chicken, and because he had so few teeth, I would chew it up for him – it was as if a parent was cutting up meat for a child.
We live near a tourist hotel, and people who saw a girl wearing a raincoat over her nightgown (we went outside 2am, 3am, 4am) would make helpful remarks: one woman said, ‘I had an old dog too, I know how it is!’ A man said, ‘it won’t be long now.’ Another man who saw the curvature of Dante’s back said, ‘take your time, mate, take your time!’ They were sad and compassionate for us.
I was reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, “No Birth, No Death” where he says:
"when we know that birth and death are with us always, we are no longer afraid of dying. Because at the moment of dying, there is birth also. La vie est avec la mort. They cannot be separated."

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